COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho--A woman who had competed in five Ironman’s and was a two-time cancer survivor was set to participate in the Coeur d’Alene Ironman on Sunday.
Wendy Chioji finished her last round of cancer treatment just seven months prior to the Coeur d’Alene Ironman.
Chioji was first diagnosed with cancer in 2001 when she was working as a news anchor in Orlando, Florida.
"Continued to work through that and started a blog and a lot of cancer outreach, cancer awareness outreach,” said Chioji.
She competed in five Ironman races in the years after recovering. She even climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at one point. In the fall of 2013, Chioji was dealt the bad news once again. She was diagnosed with thymic carcinoma--a rare and aggressive cancer.
Doctors caught Chioji’s cancer early and she was able to finish her final round of treatment in December of 2013. That gave 52-year-old Chioji just enough time to prepare for the Coeur d’Alene Ironman.
"It's a little bit farther away from cancer. It's proving that you can do something even though this potential death sentence has come into your life,” said Chioji.
Chioji was racing as part of Team Chocolate Milk and was helping to promote the recovery drink.
"I've already been to Kona. I'm not trying to win, I’m not trying to beat my friends, I really don't care. This one's just to cross the finish line. And this one's going to be really sweet,” said Chioji.
Chioji said she had some minor asthma as a result of her last bit of treatment. She said she was not worried about it.